People, Person, Blonde, Female, Woman

Puppies, Orbiting, and Creating Positive Momentum in the Workplace

By Courtnie Nolan

On a beautiful autumn afternoon, Appian employees experienced the joy of playing with puppies at work, an event Appian employees call, “Puppian.” Wolf Trap Animal Rescue brought 12 adorable golden retriever mix puppies for Appian employees to pat, play, and cuddle with. Hosting a puppy therapy event at my company, Appian, was a dream of mine. I have two unique passions: I’m a dog lover and I also love bringing my mini-epiphanies of improving the workplace to life. I married both of my passions through Puppian, and here’s what I learned about creating positive momentum and change in the workplace:

1) Before we can create positive change in our workplace, we must be willing to change ourselves. You cannot be an effective change agent if you are unwilling to accept criticism. As change agents, inner growth and transformation starts from within.

2) Creativity and change work best as a collective effort. In my Organization Development Master’s program, we call the process of being creative in the workplace, “orbiting.” In order to orbit, we need to leverage our connections in the workplace to help bring diverse perspectives to life. New connections can help create new opportunities. Puppian was a success because I was able to leverage the knowledge of my colleagues from event logistics to creating Appian’s Puppy Therapy Video.

3) Be an unconventional change agent. Develop a strong sense of purpose, both personally and at your workplace. Stay true to yourself and find ways to leverage your unique passions.

Orbiting is challenging in the workplace, when we’re focused on the 3P’s: procedures, productivity, and profits (the list goes on. . . ). Yet Puppian represents the 4th P. When we look below the surface and we can see the positive potential in others, we can begin the process of collectively orbiting. Figuring out how to leverage the diverse perspectives and talents in others can be a catalyst for positive change in the workplace.

Wishing you puppy love and orbiting,

Courtnie Nolan


Puppies, Orbiting, and Creating Positive Momentum in the Workplace was originally published in AppianLIFE on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Published on Nov 3, 2017

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